The flu scare grows as Harris County health officials report three people have died from the H1N1 influenza virus.  All three were men between the ages of 45 and 53, and two had underlying health issues – including cardiovascular disease and obesity.

Montgomery County health officials had already confirmed their second fatality from the influenza type-A strain earlier this week.   They’re still performing tests on six other cases, including four people who died with flu-like symptoms.

Hospital emergency room visits for patients reporting flu-like symptoms are at a five-year high in Harris County.

The so-called swine flu is hitting the Houston area hard this year.  Kathy Barton with the Harris County Department of Health and Human Services tells our TV partner Local-2, “We have seen a great deal of H1N1. In fact, 81 percent of the positive specimens we have looked at are H1N1."